White House Hints At Easing Of Iran Sanctions For 'Friends And Allies'

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While futures in NY edged higher on Friday on signs of a possible trade deal between the USA and China, they're still on course for a 5.7 percent weekly loss.

Traders said oil received some support from stock markets, which pulled back from 20-month lows on Wednesday amid pledges by China to support its markets. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries increased production in October to the highest level since 2016, while Russian Federation was said to raise output to a post-Soviet record.

On the one hand, it's unclear how much Iranian oil will really be removed from the market, considering that Iran has already started to switch off transponders on board of some of its cargoes, although ship-tracking data on the tankers that can be tracked shows that Iranian oil exports are falling, but not as steeply as the market and analysts were expecting just a month or two ago.

According to sources in the know, India is close to a deal with the United States that will allow it to continue buying crude oil from Iran without attracting any sanction after it agreed to cut imports and escrow payments.

USA futures fell 53 cents to $64.78 a barrel. -China trade tensions stoked concerns over economic growth. "As South Korea and India reportedly agreed with the US on waivers, the Iran factor is weakening". The contract fell $1.62 to $63.69 on Thursday. The contract is down 5.6 percent this week for a fourth consecutive week.

Brent for January settlement slipped 33 cents to $74.71 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The global benchmark crude traded at a $9.52 premium to WTI for the same month.

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A Chinese official told Reuters that discussions with the U.S. government were ongoing and that a result was expected over the next couple of days.

US sanctions on Iran's energy exports come into force on November 4 and it is still unclear how much the country's roughly 3.8 mln bpd. production will affected.

Brent and US crude posted their biggest monthly percentage decline since July 2016 in October, with Brent down 8.8 percent for the month and USA crude losing almost 11 percent.

In a presidential memorandum late on October 31, Trump said he determined there was sufficient supply of petroleum and petroleum products in the global market to cushion the impact of a cut in purchases of Iranian oil.

WorleyParsons Ltd., the Australian engineering firm that designs massive energy projects, is seeing customers returning to sea - albeit at a more subdued pace.

Adding to the negative impact of the OPEC output figures, the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday reported a sixth straight week of builds in U.S. crude inventories.

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